Syed Aan Bokhari
Knowledge is power. We all recognize this saying but few understand the empowering role social media has played. Through social media, anyone online is empowered by an unrestricted flow of information to add to their knowledge bank. In today’s world, it is ance. Social media has removed com
undeniable that social media plays an interest based groups such as students important role in impacting our culture, to work in a collaborative group pro- our economy and our overall view of jects outside of their class. It fosters the world. Social media is a new forum creativity and collaboration with a wide that brings people to exchange idea, range of commentators on a number of connect with, relate to, and mobilize for issues such as education, the economy, a cause, seek advice, and offer guid- politics, race, health, relationships…etc.
Although it has brought about many munication barriers and created benefits, allowing us to easily connect decentralized communication channel with friends and family around the and open the door for all to have a voice globe, allowing us to break down and participate in a democratic fashion international borders and cultural including people in repressive counbarriers, social media has come at a tries. This media outlet accommodates a price. Social media has a negative wide variety spontaneous, formal, impact on our lives because the combi informal, scholarly and unscholarly nation of isolation and global reach has writings to flourish. It enables common eroded our culture. Social media is robbing us of trust and comfort we once placed in one another, replacing the human fellowship, physical and emotional support we once drew from each other with virtual connection. It robs us from self-control and from the ability to think independently and instead makes us gullible to join any group that posts perverse messages that tickle our ear and amuse our senses without evaluating the consequences.
Ironically, social media is in effect turning us into one of the most antisocial generations, yet. We prefer texting to phone conversations, online chat to a face-to-face meeting, and many have replaced human interaction with convenient platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social Media and Psychological Issues
I will cover several supporting ideas showing how social media, specifically, Facebook can lead to psychological problems. It’s clear that social media has negative personal impacts, enabling young people to over analyze and criticize themselves as well as their problems.
Several researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called” “Facebook depression’, which is defined as depression that develops when individuals spend a excessive amounts of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression. Seeking acceptance and staying connected with peers is an important element of social life. However, the intensity of the online
Social Media affects your life more than you realize!
world, which requires constant engagement, creates a factor of self-awareness that may trigger depression in some people.
As with offline depression, people who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for ‘help’ that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, aggressive and self-destructive behaviors.” Depression is one of the inadvertent consequences of excessive social media usage. For clarity, Facebook depression is not just limited to Facebook, but also refers to the impact of other social networking sites causing psychological problems. Because Facebook is currently the largest and most widely used social medium, the phenomenon of social media caused depression has taken its name.
A new study has found that Individuals who engage in social media, gaming, texting, cell phones, etc., are more likely to have depression and anxiety. The study conducted by psychologist Dr. Mark Becker, of Michigan State University, found a 70% increase in self-reported depressive symptoms among the group using social media and a 42% increase in social anxiety. Clearly excessive social media usage leaves one prone to be at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and ultimately stress.
Social Media and Criminal Activities
With the increased use of social media, malicious and irresponsible people benefit themselves of the freedom of social media platforms to lie, scam, attack, and hurt others in a number of ways.
Many criminals have taken advantage of social media to hide their identity and commit several crimes such as cyber bullying, cyber terrorism, human trafficking, drug dealing, etc….
50% Women using Social Media are sexually victimized – Survey!
I will only cover cyber bullying, criminal and terrorist activities, the most common illicit activities.
Social Media and Bullying
Cyber bullying has become a major issue among youths in the last couple of decades, as it allows its victim’s to post things in front of their peers and humiliate them. Bullying is defined as an aggressive act that is carried out by a group or an individual repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.
With the use of Internet and mobile phones, a new form of bullying has emerged, often called ‘cyber bullying’. In cyber-bullying, aggression occurs via electronic method, via the Internet and especially through social media. Those who cyber bully have the ability to hide their identity posing as someone else, through false identities to terrorize their victims, similar to the previous catfish examples.
Recent studies indicate that approximately 2035% of adolescents report involvement in bullying either as a bully, a victim or both. The National Children’s Home study in Britain found that one in four children reported being bullied on the Internet. These issues left teenagers with deep mental scars, and have even lead to teen suicides. There are many stories about students at all
Looking at screens all day is awful for health
grade levels engaging in severe harassing behavior that prompts suicides or inflicts lasting physical or emotional scars.
Social Media and Terrorism
Another dangerous aspect of social media is the rapid adoption of this medium by terrorists groups. In the last couple of decades, incidents of Islamic terrorism have occurred on a global scale, not only in Muslim-majority countries, but also in Europe, Russia, and the United States. Terrorism has been using social media for their benefit for gathering information, for recruiting members, for fund raising, and for propaganda schemes.
Terrorist groups are using social media sites to spread their propaganda and raise funds, as well as to recruit and train new members. Social media allows terrorists to interact with each other and because it allows them to get new recruits. Terrorists also know exactly who the types of people are accessing social media are. They are generally impressionable young people; the perfect target groups for terrorists, especially when the recruits are emotionally weak and hear about radicalization and recruitment. Recruiting new members has become easier with the growing use of social media, Especially the new movement called “lone-wolf terrorism”. Social media is helping “lone-wolf” terrorism, through the virtual packs behind them, in which there is somebody who trains, guides,
As we share photos of ourselves online, how are beauty filters on apps like Instagram affecting our body image
Social Media threatening teens’ mental health and well-being
and launches them. For instance, about a year ago, in Boston, the two Tsarnaey brothers, were recruited through social media. Authorities were able to trace globally. their online footprints on twitter, Facebook and You Tube. From what they downloaded, and viewed it was easy to find that those lone wolves were never truly alone.
Social Media can also be used as a
cyber terrorism tool where the perpetrators disseminate false or compromising information using the Internet. For instance on April 2013, the Syrian Electronic Army attacked the Associated Press’s Twitter account and sent a message to millions of readers of the AP’s Twitter that said “Breaking News: two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” The news was of course false. But the stock market plunged within minutes; the New York Stock Exchange dropped $136 billion dollars. This type of cyber terrorism can destabilize a nation’s economy and security creating turmoil
To summarize, despite the positive benefit of rapid information sharing, social media enables people to create false identities and superficial connections, causes depression and is a primary recruiting tool of criminals and terrorists. Finally, since social media is a relatively new phenomenon and the impact studies done are also reasonably new.
Now we have explored the harms posed by this uncensored and unmonitored new medium of communication which exposes us all to a gradual breakdown of social cohesion and the destruction of our traditional value systems, unless we take responsibility to ensure that our understanding of social media and its impacts are constantly evaluated with what’s happening in the world.
Social Media affects your life more than you realize! Hateful comments on Social Media point to an alarming trend.